Exposure: Hatred and extremist views in charities

The documentary follows a year-long investigation by ITV's Exposure. Credit: ITV/Exposure

An ITV documentary has revealed hatred and extremist views in registered charities.

A year-long investigation by the Exposure programme followed three separate organisations:

  • The Steadfast Trust

  • Global Aid Trust

  • Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh UK.

Undercover filming suggests they have been involved in some uncharitable activities, with The Steadfast Trust having worrying links to the far right.

  • The Steadfast Trust

This charity describes itself on its website as "the first and only registered charity which undertakes work specifically for the English community."

Uncover filming of a non-charity event attended by a trustee of the charity and its supporters shows people shouting “white power” and “victory to the Aryan Race”.

ITV News Presenter Mark Austin reports:

The Steadfast Trust said in a statement:

  • Global Aid Trust

The Global Aid Trust says its primary aim is "to promote education amongst the underprivileged."

But on a charity boat trip, a reporter heard preacher Dawah Man discussing jihad in Syria being an option after having launched into an apparently antisemitic speech.

In another incident an employee of the charity called Shafiq can be heard saying he admired US-born hate preacher Anwar al-Awlaki.

The Global Aid Trust told ITV they "firmly condemn" and "reject" the comments made by Shafiq Shabbar and the external speakers filmed by Exposure.

In an interview Dawah Man denied his speech was antisemitic, saying he had been criticising Zionism as a political ideology, not Israeli or Jewish people.

He also denied encouraging people to go on jihad in Syria, saying he had told people not to go there in his recent videos and that jihad does not refer exclusively to fighting.

  • Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh UK

Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh UK (HSS) "runs as a voluntary organisation with weekly youth leadership training centres across the country," according to its website.

But undercover filming shows children as young as 13 being taught at a summer camp organised by the charity that the number of good Muslims "can be counted on fingers".

The same tutor at the camp can also be seen telling children, "To destroy Hindu history is the secret conspiracy of the Christians," and "If it comes to Islam, they are the world’s worst religion."

The charity has since told Exposure that depicting it as "anti any religion" is "wrong and counterproductive to the positive work HSS has done in building interfaith relations."

Asked about the programme's findings, the Charity Commission said they were "absolutely shocking" but said, "We don’t have a power to shut down an ineffective or a troubling charity in that way".

The Commission also said that in the draft Charities Bill it has asked for a specific power to wind up a charity that is no longer fit for purpose.

Since filming, it has confirmed it is investigating the serious concerns raised by Exposure about Global Aid Trust and HSS (UK), and that it has removed The Steadfast Trust from the Register of Charities.

Watch Exposure: Charities Behaving Badly on the ITV Player